VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 21, 2020
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PAKISTAN
PM makes out strong case for debt relief at WEF: DAWN

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said a large number of developing countries did not have fiscal space to deal with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak and called for debt relief to deal with the situation. Addressing the “Covid Action Platform” hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) through video link, he said G-20 countries were coming up with a debt relief initiative but more details were needed. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
Khalilzad Meets with Taliban in Doha: TOLO News

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad reported he had a "constructive meeting" with senior Taliban leaders in Doha, including Mullah Baradar, and discussed with them issues related to the peace process including counter-terrorism, intra-Afghan talks and the withdrawal of US forces from the country under the peace agreement signed late February. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
Cyclone Amphan weakens, moves toward Rajshahi region: Dhaka Tribune

At least seven people were killed as the severe cyclonic storm made landfall along the coastline of India and Bangladesh. The severe cyclonic storm Amphan has slowed down and now lies over the Rajshahi region, according to the meteorological department. The cyclone’s wind speed is now 62-88 kmph. It will continue to move further north to Pabna and Gaibandha region and form a depression on the land’s surface while losing its strength. However, the weather may remain hostile for the rest of the day. Click here to read....

MYANMAR
Myanmar State Counsellor rejects online classes: Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said the country lacks the necessary infrastructure for an internet-based teaching system. She added that while some developed countries have began implementing online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar is not ready to adopt it. “Some students in those countries are dissatisfied about learning online,” she said in an online meeting with education officials and parents on May 19. Click here to read....

NEPAL
With release of new map, Nepal and India enter a state of ‘cartographic war’, experts say: The Kathmandu Post

Nepal on Wednesday released its new political and administrative map, the first since the signing of the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816, including territories that have long been claimed by both Nepal and India, prompting analysts to describe it as a “cartographic war” between the two countries. Nepal’s unveiling of the political map depicting Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limipiyhura on the norwestern corner bordering India and China follows New Delhi’s inauguration of a link road via Lipulekh, at 17,000 feet, to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Click here to read....

BHUTAN
Bhutan bids farewell to former RBA Chief Operations Officer: Kuensel

The military funeral of the former Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), Goongloen Gongma (Lt. General) Lam Dorji, was held at the Pelkhil School ground in Thimphu yesterday. Draped in the RBA flag, the body of Late Goongloen Gongma was escorted from his home to the cremation ground where the armed forces officers received it with a Guard of Honour. The cremation ceremony was presided over by the Dorji Lopon of the Zhung Dratshang along with 100 monks. Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
Not possible to hold election on June 20 under current situation: EC: Daily Mirror

The Elections Commission informed the Supreme Court today that it is not possible to conduct the General Elections on June 20 under the current situation in the country. Appearing on behalf of the Election Commission, Counsel Saliya Peiris informed the Five Judge Bench that with the prevailing situation it is not possible to conduct the General Elections on June 20. He said the election could be held within 60-75 days if the green light is given by the health authorities. Click here to read....

CHINA
Nation viewed as key player in reformed global structure: China Daily

Many observers are asking whether the global institutional infrastructure needs major reform to cope with challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The world continues to be shaped by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, created following the Bretton Woods Agreement reached 76 years ago in New Hampshire in the United States. Click here to read....

In China’s Crisis, Xi Sees a Crucible to Strengthen His Rule: The New York Times
Before an adulatory crowd of university professors and students, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, offered a strikingly bold message about the global coronavirus pandemic. Summoning images of sacrifice from Communist Party lore, he told them that the calamity was ripe with possibility for China. Click here to read....

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